HOLMFIRTH’S John Taylor, third and second in his two previous outings, took the logical step forward to first in the West Yorkshire Cross Country League meeting at Bradford.
Competing at the same Northcliffe Park venue in Shipley where he landed the Bradford and District CCA senior title, the 23-year-old Skelmanthorpe star beat a field of 261 finishers over the six-mile course.
Taylor’s time was 27min 29sec and his victory moved him to joint top in the individual chase for league honours.
His path was smoothed to a certain extent by the absence of Wakefield’s Darren Spawforth, who had won the first league race at Leeds the previous month, but Holmfirth’s World Cup mountain man turned the tables on Leeds City’s Greg Hull, the former Yorkshire champion, who had also finished in front of him in the Beckett Park race three weeks before.
As befitting a fell racing international, Taylor got away on the toughest climb on the course after plotting his rival’s downfall on a tricky woodland stretch where it was difficult to pass.
Once he got his nose in front he simply would not allow the Leeds man to get back on level terms. The crucial break came after four of the six miles had been completed.